The framework, Caldwell said during a press conference at the Mission Memorial Auditorium, will determine the criteria for loosening or tightening restrictions in the future.
“We didn’t want to repeat what we did the first time where we rushed to the finish line opening up almost everything within the first three months,” said Caldwell, “and instead are looking at it as a marathon.”
Unfortunately, he said, living with the virus is a new reality that Oahu residents will have to live with until a vaccine is available and enough people can be vaccinated, which is not until next year.
On Thursday, parks, beaches and trails will be opened up for use by groups of up to five people for exercise, reading, sunbathing, picnics and other lawful activity. In the previous order, effective Sept. 10, parks, beaches and trails were restricted to solo use and activities by one person only.
Under the new plan, retail outlets, bowling alleys and movie theaters will be allowed to open, but at only 50 percent capacity. Bars, nightclubs, massage services and tattoo parlors will remain closed.
Bowling alleys and water parks will be able to reopen, but with only five in a party. Hair salons and nail salons may reopen with modifications, while gyms may only open outdoors.
Restaurants will be allowed to reopen for dine-in services, but may only allow parties of five from the same household per table, and the tables must be spaced at least five feet.
Restaurants that allow patrons to dine in must also require reservations, and track the names and addresses of each person to facilitate contact tracing. Masks must be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking, and liquor may not be sold, served or consumed at restaurants after 10 p.m.
The new framework also introduces a requirement for a city permit in order to use canopy-type structures within city parks.
“I have to say, we believe this plan is transparent … in its framework,” Caldwell said. “And it is conservative in its approach.
“It’s easy to move backwards. So if cases surge, we move back. If cases come down, we keep moving forward.”
Caldwell admitted that the state Health Department did not recommend reopening restaurants under Tier 1 due to the risks of transmission, but that he decided to in order to save jobs and businesses.
THE CITY’S new framework is based on increased knowledge of disease transmission, vulnerability, risk factor, community compliance, he said, and is meant to communicate clear benchmarks.
Caldwell said the new framework — which was developed over many hours in consultation with medical doctors and the business community — has received verbal approval from Gov. David Ige.
The framework includes four tiers, each based on the level of community spread of COVID-19 within Honolulu, as determined by two specific criteria: The number of daily cases reported, using 7-day averages over two to four week periods; and the positivity rate, using 7-day averages over two or four week periods.
The four tiers include:
>> Tier 1 (more than 100 average daily cases, more than 5% positivity): Representing a high level of community spread that is testing the limits of the public health system to test, contact trace, and isolate/quarantine; and puts some strain on the health care system.
>> Tier 2 (50-100 average daily cases, 2.5 to 5% positivity): Representing a level of community spread that is substantial, but still allows the public health system to adequately test, contact trace, and isolate/quarantine; and does not overburden the health care system.
>> Tier 3 (20-49 average daily cases, 1 to 2.4% positivity): Representing a moderate level of community spread that allows the public health system to fully test, contact trace, and isolate/quarantine; and does not overburden the health care system.
>> Tier 4 (less than 20 average daily cases, less than 1% positivity): Representing a low level of community spread that is easily handled by the public health system and health care system.
When the new order takes effect on Thursday, Caldwell said the city will start in Tier 1 for at least four consecutive weeks. He said the city must also log at least two consecutive weeks of data that meet the criteria for advancing to Tier 2 before any change takes place.
Once those thresholds are met, the city will issue a new order within three days announcing the change to Tier 2.
Watch the briefing via the video above, or go to Caldwell’s Facebook page.